This week in Johannesburg, South Africa, PEPFAR is convening its annual meeting. U.S. Government global health leaders and staff are working together to identify opportunities to build on the impressive achievements our programs have made so far. Throughout the week here on Dipnote, I am providing updates on our collaboration to further our vision of partnership, efficiency, and innovation for sustained impact through PEPFAR.
As we wrap up this year’s meeting in Johannesburg, today we have focused on what we can do to advance the vision of shared responsibility at the country level. As I have described, we are working to reach the point where our partner countries have ownership of the full continuum of response. This encompasses the work going on at every level — including various levels of public facilities, as well contributions of faith-based organizations, the private sector and others to the health system. It also includes our PEPFAR resources and expertise.
And it definitely includes resources provided through grants provided through the mechanism of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Through our contribution to the Global Fund, the United States is able to support the delivery of significant and concrete health results; expand the geographic reach of and enhance bilateral efforts; catalyze international investment in AIDS, TB, and malaria; build capacity, country ownership, and sustainability; and demonstrate political commitment to international cooperation.
As the largest donor to the Fund, we have a clear stake in maximizing the effectiveness of those multilateral funds at the country level. The Fund’s model for supporting country-led responses to the three diseases relies on the support of partners in country for success. We are intensifying the collaboration between our bilateral activities and the work being done through our multilateral partners. We are creating synergies that support the national continuum of response, rather than duplicating efforts.
Many of our PEPFAR country teams work every day to coordinate with Global Fund-financed projects and have made remarkable contributions to their effectiveness. We discussed a new Country Collaboration Initiative that we’ve launched in order to deepen country-level collaboration and to improve performance of Fund grants. Under this Initiative, we’ll work with countries to strengthen Country Coordinating Mechanisms, increase engagement with other Fund stakeholders, and engage in joint planning and review with Fund recipients. All of these steps will strengthen countries’ leadership of the continuum of response.
While this work continues in country, next week I’ll be representing the United States at a meeting of the Global Fund Board, where we are advocating key steps to improve the functioning and accountability of Fund grants. The Fund is an essential partner in the fight against AIDS, TB, and malaria. Simply put, the world needs a highly effective, efficient Global Fund, and our PEPFAR teams in country are doing great things to make this a reality.